The best mobile phone plans for seniors in Australia (and the worst)

There aren’t many options for seniors discounts on mobile plans and what’s available isn’t necessarily your best option.

Brodie Fogg
Editorial Lead
Read More
April 12, 2022
4 min read
mobile plans for seniors

There are plenty of benefits to signing up for a seniors card. In NSW alone, there are hundreds of services and retailers that offer deals and discounts for seniors card holders but in the tight-fisted world of telecommunications, there is only one provider officially affiliated with the seniors discount program: Pennytel.

There are more seniors discounts available from providers like Telstra and Vodafone but the options are slim and not always the best value, despite the discounted price.

Let’s take a look at the seniors discounts available for mobile plans in Australia and your next best (and more affordable) options.

If you’re looking for home phone and internet discounts, head over to our guide on Seniors discounts on phone and internet plans.

What you need to know about mobile plans for seniors

If you're on the hunt for a seniors discount on your mobile plan, there are a few things you need to know and a few questions you need to ask first. Firstly, how much mobile data do you need? If you don't need much at all and you're more interested in saving money, you can start at the very top of the list below with the seniors discount on the 1GB plan from Pennytel, which comes down to $9.89 per month with the discount applied. However, for roughly, the same price, Tangerine will offer you 1GB per month for $9.90 per month with or without a seniors card.

If you're after a lot of data, you can get a 10% discount off any Vodafone Infinite plan, including the 40GB plan which comes down to $36 per month. With that said, there are other providers that offer even better value on high-data plans without a seniors discount. For example, Circles.Life offers 50GB for $28 per month (plus $10 off per month for the first 12 months).

At the very bottom of the list, there's Telstra's Mobile Value Offer plan, which is a discounted plan for Health Care cardholders. The Telstra Mobile Value Offer might be discounted by $15 per month but it still offers some of the worst value on the entire market, even when compared to full price plans.  We recommend avoiding this plan and opting for a cheaper Telstra MVNO if the leading network coverage is important to you.

Here’s a short list of cheap mobile plans for seniors on the Telstra and Telstra wholesale network that cost less than Telstra’s Mobile Value Offer, but offer more monthly data:

Mobile plans: Seniors discounts vs regular pricing

Provider
Network
Plan
Discount eligibility
Plan price (per month)
Monthly data
Data per dollar value (lower is better)

Pennytel

Part of the Telstra 4G network

1GB data

Seniors Card (10% off)

$9.89

1GB

$9.89 per GB

Tangerine

Part of the Telstra 4G network

1GB Mobile SIM

No discount

$9.90

1GB

$9.90 per GB

Southern Phone

Optus 4G network

Small SIM Only plan

No discount

$10.00

2.5GB

$4 per GB

Moose Mobile

Optus 4G network

Moose 8.80 SIM Promo

No discount

$14.80

6GB

$2.60 per GB

Pennytel

Part of the Telstra 4G network

8GB data

Seniors Card (10% off)

$17.99

8GB

$2.24 per GB

iiNet

Vodafone 4G network

Mobile 8GB Plan

No discount

$19.99

8GB

$2.49 per GB

Spintel

Optus 4G network

$20 Mobile Plan

No discount

$20

17GB

$1.17 per GB

Pennytel

Part of the Telstra 4G network

18GB data

Seniors Card (10% off)

$22.49

18GB

$1.24 per GB

Telstra

Telstra 4G network

Value Mobile Offer

Health Care Card holders ($15 off)

$30

2GB

$15 per GB

Vodafone

Vodafone 4G network

40GB Infinite

Seniors Card (10% off)

$36

40GB

$0.90 per GB

Vodafone

Vodafone 4G network

80GB Infinite

Seniors Card (10% off)

$40.50

80GB

$0.50 per GB

Vodafone

Vodafone 4G network

150GB Infinite

Seniors Card (10% off)

$49.50

150GB

$0.33 per GB

Vodafone

Vodafone 4G network

300GB Infinite

Seniors Card (10% off)

$58.50

300GB

$0.19 per GB

Vodafone

Vodafone 4G network

500GB Infinite

Seniors Card (10% off)

$67.50

500GB

$0.13 per GB

Photograph of Grandma Dabbing - Best Seniors Plans

Best NBN plans for seniors

Check out our guide to discounted NBN plans for seniors while you're here.

Pennytel’s mobile plans for seniors

Pennytel’s discounted phone plan for Seniors Card holders

Pennytel offers a once-off credit ($10 off the first month) and an ongoing 10% discount for Seniors Card holders on three of its mobile plans.

Here are Pennytel’s seniors mobile plans:

  • 1GB per month with unlimited calls and text to standard Australian numbers: $9.89 per month ($0 for first month) - usually $10.99 per month
  • 8GB per month with unlimited calls and text to standard Australian numbers: $17.99 per month ($7.99 for first month) - usually $19.99 per month
  • 18GB per month with unlimited calls and text to standard Australian numbers and international calls to 15 countries: $22.49 per month ($12.49 for first month) - usually $24.99 per month

Pennytel is a Telstra MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator), which means you can expect almost as much coverage as a Telstra customer. Telstra MVNOs like Pennytel lease part of the Telstra network (known as the Telstra wholesale network) to provide their customers with mobile coverage. For more information, head over to our guide to Australian MVNOs.

Telstra’s mobile phone plan for seniors

Telstra: Poor value for seniors

Next up, Telstra offers a Value Mobile Offer to anyone who holds a valid Health Care Card.

The Value Mobile Offer includes a recurring $15 per month discount on the $45 Extra Small Plan. For $30 per month, that gets you 2GB of data per month and unlimited calls and text to Australian numbers. But don’t let the deal’s name fool you, great value it is not.

Whichever way you look at it, 2GB for $45 or $30 is terrible value. For comparison, the next plan in Telstra’s range is the 40GB Upfront Plan for $55 per month. On Telstra’s Value Offer plan, you’re paying $15 per GB, whereas you’re paying roughly $1.30 per GB on the Small Upfront plan.

If you’re a seniors card holder who wants or needs a mobile service on the Telstra network, there are much cheaper MVNOs available. Tangerine, for example, offers 3GB of monthly data for $14.90 per month. Here’s a list of plans from Telstra network providers sorted by monthly price:

Vodafone's mobile plans for seniors

Vodafone: 10% off for seniors card holders

Vodafone’s seniors discount is a little more straightforward. If you’re a seniors card holder, you can get 10% off your monthly fees on any Vodafone Infinite plan if you sign up before the 26th of August 2021. The same 10% discount can be applied to Modem plans above $20 per month and Tablet plans above $30 per month.

So the $40 for 40GB plan becomes $36 for 40GB, the $45 for 80GB plan becomes $40.50 for 80GB and so on. Here’s the list of Vodafone Infinite plans seniors card holders can get a monthly 10% on:

Note: The prices below do not have the 10% discount applied.

Optus mobile plans for seniors

Nilch, nada, no - but it's not all bad

Neither Optus or Optus MVNOs offer any official mobile plans for seniors but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a great deal. In fact, some Optus MVNOs offer better value on mobile plans than most of the seniors discounts listed above.

Below you will find a short list of the most popular plans and deals available on the Optus network at the time of writing.

Brodie Fogg
Written by
Brodie Fogg
Brodie Fogg is the Australian editorial lead at Reviews.org. He has covered consumer tech, telecommunications, video games, streaming and entertainment for over five years at websites like WhistleOut and Finder and can be found sharing streaming recommendations at 7NEWS every month.

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